Architect Einar Jarmund believes in building communal kitchens that stand the test of time
Oslo-based architect Einar Jarmund knows that the key to a social kitchen is one that brings together and protects its inhabitants. Perpetually forward-thinking, it’s a charming thought process for a man whose bold, modern buildings dot Scandinavia.
“As an architect you’re never better than your next building. We tend to be a profession that lives in the future, not in the past.”
It’s that combination of future vision and the pull of the Norwegian landscape that inspires Jarmund’s buildings, including his clutter- and fuss-free kitchens. The harsh Nordic climate inspires him to create structures that perform. Solidly constructed with natural materials and open to the landscape by way of wide panes of glass, Jarmud’s spaces are built to provide families with a social kitchen for the long-term. According to Jarmund, it’s this connection to nature in fact, that makes being an architect in Norway so rewarding.
“The best thing about being an architect in this part of the world is the fact that we are able to work with nature. We have a closeness to nature through many of our building tasks.”
It’s this relationship that also drives Jarmud’s interest in creating kitchens that are clean, unfussy, and organised to facilitate maximum socialisation amongst the people that take refuge in them. That means not building walls in areas that you are most likely to execute everyday kitchen tasks. For example, providing a view of the outdoors or of the central living space, transforms the kitchen into a place to mingle with family and friends. For Jarmund, the kitchen is not just a place to chop onions.
Though imparting his modern and nature-inspired stamp on a space is important to Jarmund, he realises that building a home is akin to painting a portrait of a client. It’s about teamwork.
“We think it is important to find that balance between what we like and what the client likes. Our main task is to help the client fulfil their dreams.”
Part of that process is guiding clients on matters of timelessness and quality. Jarmund finds that all too often kitchen design is considered something that can be discarded in 10 years, and is disappointed by the consequent waste of materials and resources. As such, he advises clients to consider the long term and invest in premium materials so that the space can really last a lifetime.
“We think it is important to keep design on a ‘classical’ level, meaning that things have a lasting value, that it’s not necessarily the latest fashion that you’ve seen in a magazine yesterday.”
In the end, a truly great social kitchen is one that stands the test of time.